However, I find it even more interesting to look for those doing content marketing well and use those test cases to help us arrive at a universal understanding of content marketing. Let’s take a look at Gwyneth Paltrow, and her lifestyle brand, goop.
You may love Paltrow, and most probably, you hate her, but you cannot deny -- she understands the power of content designed to move people to unconsciously uncouple with their money. Doesn’t matter if it’s recipes, advice about how to heal after a traumatic break up with a friend or where to visit and shop in Los Angeles, girl knows how to dish, and 150,000 subscribers are eager to consume.
1. Does it Pass the Smell Test of Content Marketing?
There are many definitions for content marketing, but at the end of the day, content marketing is the exchange of information for a prospect, which may in turn become a lead and then a bona fide customer.
goop in the fall of 2008 to share all of life's positives. From creating a delicious recipe to finding a perfect dress for spring, Paltrow began curating the best of lifestyle to help her readers save time, simplify and feel inspired. Determined to publish a genuine and resourceful issue each week, for many, goop has become their most trusted girlfriend on the web.”
As a content “curator,” Paltrow shares content with her audience every week, in the form of an email newsletter. In the beginning, goop focused on places to visit and shop, and recipes one could make. Then the newsletter slowly morphed to a website and blog where you could buy some of the products Paltrow herself avowed, or, even better, products she manufactured in partnerships with others.
Don’t let the press reports of the company losing money fool you, either. Financial records show that the company lost $39,000 in 2012; however, that was because Paltrow and her business partner took money from the company. The total revenues for that year were close to $1.5 million. That’s $185 for denim cut off shorts, $250 for a throw pillow and $800 for a pair of gold hoops -- if you’re so inclined.
If that isn’t an exchange of your email address for some serious revenue building, well then I don’t know what is.
2. Is the Brand a Part of the Conversation in That Industry?
Here’s what is even more amazing about Paltrow -- as much as she is criticized, she’s a major part of public discourse. Last month, she announced that she and her husband, Chris Martin, the lead singer of the British band Coldplay, were splitting up. She used the phrase "consciously uncouple," which is an actual term, created by a psychologist to describe what a friendly and amicable divorce could look like.
Paltrow was absolutely ridiculed for using this phrase -- but look: Craig Ferguson recently used this term to announce his departure from The Late Late Show and see the below ad from Samsung. Does your brand have that kind of power over people’s conversations? That a term Paltrow used to refer to her divorce becomes a part of the overall dialogue is proof of her brand’s power.
3. Does She Have Brand Envy, to the Point of Copycats?
Let’s take a look at the other celebrities out there trying to launch their own lifestyle brands:
- Jessica Alba
- Rachel Zoe
- Reese Witherspoon
- Blake Lively
If others are trying to copy it, chances are, it is a success.
Want to be successful at content marketing? Make sure you’re exchanging content for some sort of lead follow up and make sure your brand is a part of the conversation in your industry. If you have copycats, you’ll know you’re doing something right.
Love her or hate her, Gwyneth Paltrow is schooling us all in how to use content marketing to effectively bolster your brand and make money. Now go consciously contemplate that.